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Novel Aptamer-Based Small-Molecule Drug Screening Assay to Identify Potential Sclerostin Inhibitors against Osteoporosis

  • lee;, chien-ching
Publication Date
Aug 02, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/ijms22158320
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A novel aptamer-based competitive drug screening platform for osteoporosis was devised in which fluorescence-labeled, sclerostin-specific aptamers compete with compounds from selected chemical libraries for the binding of immobilized recombinant human sclerostin to achieve high-throughput screening for potential small-molecule sclerostin inhibitors and to facilitate drug repurposing and drug discovery. Of the 96 selected inhibitors and FDA-approved drugs, six were shown to result in a significant decrease in the fluorescence intensity of the aptamer, suggesting a higher affinity toward sclerostin compared with that of the aptamer. The targets of these potential sclerostin inhibitors were correlated to lipid or bone metabolism, and several of the compounds have already been shown to be potential osteogenic activators, indicating that the aptamer-based competitive drug screening assay offered a potentially reliable strategy for the discovery of target-specific new drugs. The six potential sclerostin inhibitors suppressed the level of both intracellular and/or extracellular sclerostin in mouse osteocyte IDG-SW3 and increased alkaline phosphatase activity in IDG-SW3 cells, human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and human fetal osteoblasts hFOB1.19. Potential small-molecule drug candidates obtained in this study are expected to provide new therapeutics for osteoporosis as well as insights into the structure–activity relationship of sclerostin inhibitors for rational drug design.

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